Senior Royals were out in force in Cornwall last night, where they carried out engagements connected to the G7 Summit, showing the power of British soft diplomacy.
The 47th G7 Summit is being held from the 11th-13th June in Cornwall. It is being held in the UK this year because the UK currently holds the presidency of the G7. The event sees the leaders of the UK, US, Italy, Japan, Germany, France and Canada (aka the ‘Group of Seven’) come together for a series of meetings about various things that are happening around the world. Those seven countries have the largest advanced economies in the world. Representatives from the EU are also invited to take part.
The first royal event of the day was carried out by The Duchess of Cambridge, who was joined by First Lady Dr Jill Biden for an engagement centred on early childhood, a cause they are both passionate about.
The two stylish ladies visited Connor Downs Academy near Camborne, where they met with staff and students aged four and five. They also met with Storm, the schools rabbit, whom they fed carrots to.
The women also sat down for a round table discussion at the school. Catherine had convened a number of experts from the UK and the US for a discussion on how important early childhood is on a child’s lifelong outcomes. The pair also sat down privately for a one-on-one discussion.
Catherine was, later in the evening, joined by The Duke of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and The Queen at the Eden Project for the G7 Leaders Reception. There, the group mingled with the leaders of the major countries.
The Queen, wearing her Botswana millet brooch, got the leaders in a fit of giggles when it came time for the official group photograph. While sitting on the platform for the photo, she jokingly asked those around her: “Are you supposed to look as if you’re enjoying yourself?” It’s safe to say, in that moment, that every one of them was!
‘Are you supposed to look as if you are enjoying yourselves?’ – the Queen makes the leaders laugh tonight, taking centre stage pic.twitter.com/5KvwzKh6g0
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) June 11, 2021
After the reception, Prince William and Prince Charles hosted their own reception for the G7 Leaders and also executives from some of the world’s largest companies. The point of the reception? To discuss how the private sector can work with various governments to tackle climate change.
During the reception, Charles gave a speech. In his speech, he spoke about how the road ahead in tackling this crisis was not going to be easy: “The scale of the challenge is clearly immense – and the window of opportunity to tackle it is closing extremely fast.”
He added, however, that it could be done.
While speaking about how the COVID-19 pandemic has shown ‘the global community can tackle crises when we combine political will with business ingenuity and public mobilisation’, the Prince urged the same sort of reaction towards climate change and the ways to tackle it.
He also explained to the gathering how his Sustainable Markets Initiative has, so far, brought together over 300 global CEOs in the fight against global warming by ‘identifying the roadblocks to sustainable growth and the practical solutions which would shift them out of the way’.
The future King also gave examples of how governments can help and what needs to be done going forward.
While the father and son were busy in one area, the female Royals were off in another area having a bit of fun! The Duchesses and The Queen were attending a Big Lunch Event at the Eden Project.
The trio met with people from communities across Cornwall and found out more about the Big Lunch Events being planned to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee next year, and the events that have taken place since the initiative was set up in 2009.
The Big Lunch aims to bring communities together annually at events, with people enjoying a meal or just a simple cup of tea.
The cake cutting got the women into a jolly spirit when The Queen was handed a ceremonial sword to do the honours. Her Majesty was informed that there was a traditional kitchen knife available for the job, to which she replied: “I know there is. But this is something more unusual!”
The Duchess of Cornwall, who is patron of the event, assisted in the final part of the cutting, which ended in a round of applause, with giggles from Catherine as she looked on.
A busy start to a busy weekend for The Royal Family, with Trooping The Colour and a meeting with the US President still to come. The Royals are certainly out in force and it’s business as usual!
Queen Elizabeth II insisted on cutting a cake using a ceremonial sword at an event on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 12, 2021